Using SharePoint Online (Office 365), here's what we need and what I was hoping for:

We are putting our specific policies and procedures into Word documents, and then want to organize those into groups by category in SharePoint so we get the version tracking. Every year we have to review all our policies and procedures to modify or sign off on them, and each category is reviewed/approved by a different particular person.

So in our team SharePoint site, I created a Policies and Procedures document library. And I created a custom content type inherited from Document Set that has an additional metadata field called Approver, which is a person lookup field. This way, each group of documents can be put into a document set with the approver specified. I want to be able to manually kick off a workflow that will get approvals for each document within each document set from the person set as approver on the doc set.

I can easily create a standard Approval workflow for documents, but this requires kicking off the workflow for each individual doc (like, you can't even check all of them at the same time and then kick off the workflow). This will be too burdensome and error-prone, as we will have dozens of these files. I can also easily create a standard approval workflow for document sets, but then that only gets approval on the set...not each of the documents within.

So I went to the SharePoint Designer. If you create a 2010 workflow, there is an action you can add called Start a Document Set Approval Process, where I can set the user to assign it to as the Approver. As far as I understand, this will accomplish what I need and just needs to be kicked off for each set. However, I tried kicking it off for one, and it caused an error right away. In searching, all I could find is that the SharePoint people are aware there's an issue and do not plan to fix it. And such an action does not exist in a 2013 workflow!

So if I must use a 2013 workflow in order for it to be compatible, how can I best accomplish the same thing? Is there even a way to kick off a workflow on a library or document set that will assign review/approvals for every document it contains?

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